A dozen Dockers and a six unanswered goals wasn’t enough to tame the Tigers as Claremont strengthened their grip on the top two with 15-point victory against Peel Thunder.
An incredible fightback in the third quarter gave Peel all the momentum, kicking five straight goals to cut the margin back to 13-points at three-quarter time.
And it looked like the Thunder would run away with it when Liam Henry steered one home from long range, making it a seven-point game five minutes into the last quarter.
It required a champion response and Jye Bolton answered, pushing the lead beyond two kicks and giving Claremont enough breathing room to hold on for the rest of the quarter.
But critical lapses and Peel’s improved intensity went close to undoing the Tigers as Peel made light work of Claremont’s game-high 44-point lead, notched early in the third.
Ultimately Claremont’s experience was enough to salute, the likes of Bailey Rogers (29 disposals, one goal), Bolton (26 touches, four inside 50s) and Ryan Lim (28 touches, 10 marks) giving the Tigers enough bite.
Fielding another experienced side as their counterparts downed the Giants in Canberra, Neil Erasmus kicked three goals in the third quarter to pair with 23 touches while Henry (26 touches, 14 marks) impressed with his field kicking.
Claremont started the third quarter in a similar manner to the first half, kicking three of the first four goals.
But the Thunder would kick the next five, cutting the margin to just 13-points ahead of the last chapter.
Erasmus was electric, kicking two goals in three minutes to reward his earlier work around stoppages.
Fremantle pre-season train on Luke Polson also had an inspirational five-minute spell, kicking back-to-back goals and giving Claremont trouble in the ruck inside attack.
Joel Western, who earlier carried the ball down the entire stretch of the far wing to set up Blair Bell, capped off a remarkable fight-back with the last goal of the third term.
Claremont fumbled their way through Peel’s increased pressure, counting down the minutes until the siren halted the onslaught.
A towering mark to Bailey Rogers in the goal square and a clever crumbing goal to Zac Mainwaring early in the quarter seemed a world away as the Tigers came together for one last time.
Just quarter earlier, Claremont had complete control and had switched into a gear Peel couldn’t match.
A four goal to three first quarter set the scene for an evenly-matched arm wrestle between two top-five sides.
But a superior second quarter gave Claremont a comfortable five-goal lead heading into half-time.
CLAREMONT: 4.0, 9.4, 12.8, 13.11 (89)
PEEL THUNDER: 3.3, 4.4, 10.7, 11.8 (74)
Goals –CLAREMONT: B Edwards 2, T House 2, T Smallwood 2, D Mountford, T Delacey, R Lim, A Manuel, Z Mainwaring, B Rogers, J Bolton.
PEEL THUNDER: N Erasmus 3, L Polson 2, B Bell 2, J Amiss, M Crowden, J Western, L Henry.
Best –CLAREMONT: O Eastland, B Rogers, B Edwards, L Martinis, D Mountford, R Lim.
PEEL THUNDER: N Erasmus, L Henry, T Thorne, R Smith, N Wilson, J Hamling.
Injuries – CLAREMONT: L K Gowdie (illness) replaced in the selected side by L Evans. PEEL THUNDER: T Nesbitt (knee).
Umpires: O Wharton, C Snadden, B Evans. Crowd: About 800 at Revo Fitness Stadium.